Lesvos because of its location, between East & West, is worldwide known not only as a unique place for birdwatching but also as an island first step for refugees and migrants wishing to enter Europe.
During the war in Syria and specially in 2015, Lesvos was welcoming hundreds thousands refugees. Now, relative few boats arrive but still Lesvos is hosting about 7.000 refugees and migrants, most of them in a big camp run by EU and Greek ministry of migration. According to EU and Turkey agreement they are oblised to stay on the island till they get the final decision about asylum. Many international organisations are operating inside the camp among them UNHCR, Red Cross, Medicines San Frontiers. Already since 2012 our Daphne Vloumidi together with guests/friends of Hotel Votsala has founded a small non-profit organisation and since then we finance several programmes including education for young refugees.
Unfortunately every time the international press is publishing an article about Lesvos talks only about issues. One hundred thousand inhabitants of Lesvos feel now punished by the press because or their geographical location on the map of Europe. Nobody talks about Lesvos as the birth place of Lyric poetry (Sappho 6th c BC), nobody talks about the 11milion olive trees, the …0000 km of coast line with quite beaches, picturesque fishing ports and villages. Tourism is bad the last years because people get a wrong idea about Lesvos after such publications. The true is that yes, there is an issue concerning migration but this is something you get allover the world nowadays and not only on Lesvos. If you come to Lesvos for holiday and you want to volunteer…yes, you get into the problem; if you come for relaxing nobody will remind you about refugees and migrants, the island is big enough to live its peaceful life.
You can read a lot about Lesvos / Migration / Refugees at our Odysseas.at site.